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In an interview, Ryu Watabe stated that “I gotta believe” came from his old high school football team. The phrase was used as a motto the crowd would cheer when they were losing.
Contributed by ProtoSnake
The Revenge of Shinobi
Naoko, Joe Musashi's bride, was named after the sister in law of designer and director Noriyoshi Ohba.
Contributed by ProtoSnake
Final Fantasy VII
In an interview, Tetsuya Nomura stated that he envisioned Cloud and Sephiroth's relationship to be like that of Musashi Miyamoto and Sasaki Kojiro. This influenced not only their appearances, but also the appearances of their swords.

"For me, it’s of course Cloud and Sephiroth. My concept for Sephiroth from the beginning was that everything about him would be kakkoii. His battle movements, and all his in-game scenes too. My image of the relationship between Cloud AND Sephiroth was that of Musashi Miyamoto and Sasaki Kojiro, and I had them in mind when I designed their appearance, as well as their swords. Of course Cloud is Musashi, and Sephiroth is Kojiro."
Contributed by ProtoSnake
Series: Kirby
In an interview with Satoru Iwata and Masahiro Sakurai for the Japanese exclusive game guide for Kirby’s Adventure, Sakurai stated that they wanted a character that a person could draw in a sketchbook easily, which resulted in the main character Kirby.
Contributed by GamerBen144
Super Mario 3D Land
According to Kenta Motokura, the Tanooki-tailed Bowser is actually a Goomba using a Super Leaf. This was done as an homage to the original Super Mario Bros. game.
Contributed by GamerBen144
The developers looked at a number of MMORPGs such as Phantasy Star Online, Ultima Online, and Final Fantasy XI for inspiration. The prior works of character designer Yoshiyuki Sadamoto (Neon Genesis Evangelion) and scenario writer Kazunori Itō (Ghost in the Shell) were also an influence.
Contributed by DrakeVagabond
The Legend of Zelda
In a developer interview, Shigeru Miyamoto stated that the game was meant to inspire the sense of adventure that Indiana Jones and adventure movies, which were popular at the time, inspired in their viewers.
Contributed by GamerBen144
A Hat in Time
Jonas Kaerlev was concerned about bringing the game to kickstarter, because he thought people would associate it with Donkey Kong 64, rather than other titles of the genre.

"It did worry us before we launched the Kickstarter. But we thought if we emphasized enough that we were trying to make something less like Donkey Kong 64 and more like Banjo-Kazooie or Mario 64, we thought it would be much more well-received."

Jonas also stated the lack of collect-a-thon platformers was partially because of Rare's Donkey Kong 64 game.

"I don't want to blame it all on Donkey Kong 64, but it's partially at fault. Donkey Kong 64 did a lot of things wrong, in that it was very tedious to collect everything in order to move on. A lot of people don't want that. They want to be able to breeze through the game if they so desire, but there are also people who want to collect everything, and get stronger and better."
Contributed by CLXcool
The idea for the game came from the fact that lead designer and director Tsubasa Sakaguchi wanted to make an interface that is interactive and something that is easy to grasp on. He initially planned for one player to use both Joy-Con controllers. However, the idea was later shot down because he thought it was too similar to using Wii Remote and Nunchuk. Sakaguchi almost considered having two players use one set of the controllers, but later scrapped it because it was too similar to the Famicom.
Contributed by GamerBen144
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U
In an interview with Nintendo Dream, Masahiro Sakurai stated that the reason why Ness and Lucas's final smashes, PK Starstorm, function differently from their Brawl counterparts was due to limitations in the 3DS hardware.
Contributed by GamerBen144
Super Mario World
In the Super Mario World & Yoshi's Island Developer Interview with Nintendo, Takashi Tezuka stated that Mario was originally going to ride a horse instead of Yoshi. However, it felt out of place for a "reptile" world, and was changed to look both like a crocodile and a turtle. A similar concept was almost given to Mario in Super Mario 64, but was later given to Link in Ocarina of Time as Epona.
Contributed by GamerBen144
Super Mario Kart
According to Nintendo, in a developer's interview, Donkey Kong Jr. was added because of both the 10th anniversary of his debut game, and that his shirt was easy to design.
Contributed by GamerBen144
While working at LucasArts, Director Cory Barlog was allowed to read the script for the canceled Star Wars live-action TV series. He was blown away by how much the story made him care about the series ongoing villain, Palpatine, and he used this as inspiration for Kratos's character in the story.
Contributed by DrakeVagabond
The game's swipe-based swordplay was based on creative director Donald Mustard's desire for an uncommon gameplay based on nuanced sword fighting and parrying.
Contributed by DrakeVagabond
The game's combat was influenced by Karaketa and Prince of Persia, while the atmosphere was inspired by Shadow of the Colossus.
Contributed by DrakeVagabond
iNiS was inspired to create the game after seeing the impressive high-end graphics displayed by Infinity Blade on mobile platforms.
Contributed by DrakeVagabond
Series: Drakengard
Creative director Yoko Taro cites the novel Hybrid Child by Ohara Mariko as a source of inspiration for the Nier portion of the series.
Contributed by DrakeVagabond
The King of Fighters XIV
In a developer interview by Famitsu, the development team stated that the reason they decided to add South American and China teams was because the popularity of KOF in those regions and (in the case of China) because Chinese players didn't know Team Psycho Soldier was technically Team China. They also confirmed that they wanted to add stereotypical Shaolin fighters into the China Team, but after taking a trip to the country, they realized everyone was super fashionable and so they added cool-looking characters instead.

This is also the reason why Nelson (from Team South America) is a cool looking character rather than a typical buff-looking boxer.
Contributed by ZpaceJ0ck0
Dissidia Final Fantasy
During "Dissidia Final Fantasy NT: Behind the English voice cast" with Natalie Lander (Terra Branford's English voice actress), Natalie explained that she wanted to honor Yukari Fukui (Terra's Japanese voice actress) by mimicking her sound quality for her character's voice.
Contributed by ProtoSnake
The characters are all influenced by kendo martial arts since it was a big part of Takashi Okazaki's (characters designer) life.
Contributed by DrakeVagabond
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